Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Rouching to make the XL t-shirt maternity.

Most of the time innovations and ideas come because of needs.  I have a new need:  clothes that I can wear with an expanding belly.  Yes, I am expecting.  It might not look like much of a belly now, but I remember those sad days of the third trimester when nothing seemed to fit anymore.  This time, I'm preparing ahead of time.

I might have mentioned the plethora of XL t-shirts we have?  Well, this one was destined to be my experiment in making myself a maternity shirt.  Because of the experimental approach, and my lack of energy to do much but get-er-done, I don't have any photos of the process.  Hopefully, this will be understandable anyway.

1.  I created a t-shirt pattern for myself by tracing half of my favorite-fitting t-shirt without the sleeves.  I've done that several times.  See it here or here.    Then I lay that half-pattern over this large t-shirt and traced it again on both sides.  I only traced to my bustline, and let it out as quickly as I could without making it come to points as I mistakenly did here.

2.  I took the cut-off sleeves and trimmed away the part that had connected to the shirt until the sleeves were as long as I wanted them and wide enough to fit in the now-smaller armhole.  I have left the sleeves wider, and made them ruffle at the shoulder before, and that is cute too.  Check it out here.

3.  Then I sewed the sleeves in and sewed up the open parts of the sides.  

The t-shirt now fits, but it is rather boring and balloon-like.  How can I make it cuter? 

Lets start with the sides.  I tried this before here, and rather liked it.  With my elastic thread in my bobbin, I sewed up both sides to my bustline.  Then I sewed up the crest of the sleeve as well.  This is what happened.

The top fits me well, and there's plenty of room around my waist.  Perfect.

Now for the neck.  I'm going to avoid any sewn-on embellishments at the moment because I'm worried about my grabby toddler, but some cute flowers or yo-yos could be fun at the neckline.

I wanted a smaller ribbing around the neck, so I trimmed it, like I did here.  It makes the neck less stretchy, but it looks less casual as well.

Then I took that elastically-threaded bobbin, and sewed a few inches down from the neck, making it into a V-neck.  

It doesn't look much like the shirt it was before.

I love how roomy it is. (I'm actually wearing it as I type this.)

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